Chatting Inner Beauty & Plus Size Industry Realness With Liris Crosse, Model & 'Project Runway' Winner

If you've been looking for a new, inspiring icon to stan, look no further. Top plus model, actress, speaker and now author, Liris Crosse, will be your new inspiration. Crosse is a pioneer in the fashion industry for full-figured and African American women, known for being one of the first plus-size models to win the model portion of Project Runway. 

Crosse has recently launched her ultra-inspiring book, Life of a Working Model Boot Camp, which offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to provide a new generation of models with strategies on how to break into the fashion industry and improve their craft. Following her recent book publishing, we sat down with her Q and A style and got the lowdown on her life, career, all things Project Runway, and her brand new book.



👸🏾 #ModelMonday Book me at @dorothycombsmodels 🇺🇸 @immcurve 🇬🇧

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Her Campus (HC): What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day? 

Liris Crosse (LC): I model for various brands like Maggie Sottero, Curvy Couture & Trunk Club to name a few! I do everything from e-commerce to campaign shoots to runway. Also, I do public speaking for charities and women’s groups. I really don’t have a typical day since I work for myself, but I love it because every day is an adventure.

HC: What is the best part of your job? 

LC: The glamorous makeup, hair, clothes, and of course, craft services!

HC: What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it? 

LC: Probably a mall fashion show and I got it by attending a casting call there. It gave me experience and confidence to keep pursuing it!

HC:  What words of wisdom (well-known quotes, an anecdote from your boss) do you find most valuable? 

LC: My big sister, Karin Haysbert, always says “Standards are what you allow”. It always puts me in check to remember that I have a say in what I accept in my life. Also “when people show you who they are, believe them,” by Maya Angelou, is another that helps me stay woke in business and in friendships.

HC: What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it? 

LC: Years ago I produced my own calendar project. I invested good money into the creation of it that I had hardly any left to market it. I still have calendars left over till this day. I learned that your marketing is just as important as your product so plan on it from the get-go. I use that for all my projects now.

HC: What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far? 

LC: Probably the day I spoke to the casting director of Project Runway, Paul Medford, after we did the first plus size designer finale on the show (season 14). I said imagine if they had plus size models with the straight size models for the weekly designer challenges. Season 16 I was called in for the casting, booked it, and ended up becoming one of the first plus models to win the model portion of the show. So, to imagine it, then live it, and then win it was so surreal!

HC: What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations? 

LC: First, I would say get my book, Make The World Your Runway, because it has so much advice in it. Then, I would say study the market and your craft. Create a plan and go after it relentlessly! Remember that most things take time to build so be prepared for the process. Be open to learn about yourself and others as you go through it.

HC: What can you tell us about your new book, Make the World Your Runway?

LC: It’s the perfect marriage of leveling your inner beauty and outer beauty to push forth in your purpose in the world! I take principles that I use to prepare for the runway and expound upon them in the physical, spiritual, and emotional so that you may use it on the runway of life every day! From presence to poise to power to presentation, they all play a factor in how we are received in life. They feed our confidence, which also affects our success in life.  It has some great stories from my modeling career and some cool fashion tips too. 

HC: What are you hoping people get out of it after reading it? 

LC: Well, it’s a fun and inspiring read. I hope they get breakthroughs in their heart and mind that help them confidently attack the next level of life that awaits them! Life is truly waiting on you. You just need to tweak some things and this book will help you do so! I want people to look their best and feel their best inside and out after reading it!

Make the World Your Runway,, $20; shop now.

Keep up with Liris on Twitter and Instagram!